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Planet Henry

Rhymin' Teds.
  • Rhymin' Teds.
While sex and greed have been all but accepted as dull commonplace in the lives of our public figures, Cleveland anchorman Ted Henry indulges in a private activity that varies slightly from the six-and-eleven norm. During downtime, the carefully coifed newsman has been known to shed his navy blue suit and straitlaced television demeanor, kick back, and pen a few lines of therapeutic poetry.

While Henry might not come across as the introspective type when reporting on house fires or babies found in trash cans, he says it's important for him to get in touch with his intuitive side. For eight years, he's been participating in poetry groups, and he now teaches his own poetry course, Intuitive Expression, through Case Western Reserve University's continuing studies program.

"To me, poems are not about writing poems," Henry says. "They are really about getting in touch with your inner voice."

The quality of the poetry, emphasizes Henry, is not important. The idea is to get your thoughts and feelings out of your head and organized on the page. The fruits are in the process.

"We never analyze the merit of the poem," he says. "If it happens to be by universal consent a wonderful poem -- great. If it happens to be the lousiest poem you've ever read in your life, then that's also great."

Though more women than men attend his writing groups, Henry says, men are the ones who need poetry.

"If women can learn to be more in touch with their intuition than they already are, and if men can learn to become aware that they have an intuitive voice, then why not exercise it like a muscle? [Why not] get it to work for you?"

The class is not exactly Creative Writing 101, the Poetry Module. But as Henry explains, a glance through the course catalog doesn't exactly reflect the specific nature of the class.

"It's really called "Poetry as a Means of Accessing the Soul or the Spirit Dimension Through the Vehicle of Intuition,'" says Henry. Whoa. How many credits was that again? -- Aaron Steinberg

Intuitive Expression starts Wednesday, October 13, from 10-11:30 a.m. at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 2747 Fairmount Boulevard in Cleveland Heights. The fee is $35 (7 sessions); for more information, call the CWRU continuing education department at 216-368-2090.

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